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Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is among Canada's largest cities, and its port is the largest on North America's west coast - handling a staggering 65 million tonnes every year. The first Europeans settled in the area as the result of a local gold rush in 1858. The gold rush was short lived and many people left again; however, a few people stayed and developed a place they called Gastown.

In 1884, Canadian Pacific Railway president William Van Horne decided that with its natural port, the small town would make a good terminus for his transcontinental line. He felt that 'Vancouver' would be a more appropriate name, so it was officially changed in 1886. Trains began running the following year, and their impact was immense - transforming Vancouver from a small settlement to a powerful industrial and commercial centre. Now, Vancouver is an exciting, thriving city that is consistently ranked as one of the planet's top three most desirable places to live.

Our guide to Vancouver

Local sites to see

Gastown

One of Vancouver's best-loved neighbourhoods, Gastown is a charming and historic area of cobblestone streets, small shops and intimate restaurants. Gastown is also home to the Gastown Steam Clock. Every quarter of an hour, steam pours from the top of the clock and whistle chimes can be heard.

Stanley Park

At 1,000 acres (around 4 square kilometres) in size, Stanley Park is larger than New York's Central Park - and is home to over half a million trees. First opened in 1888, the park has become a widely recognised symbol of the city and is known for its beauty. Yet perhaps its most famous feature is its large collection of totem poles, displaying the impressive designs of the indigenous peoples of North America.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Located over the Lion's Gate Bridge in North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge spans 446 feet (136 metres) across a dramatic gorge over the Capilano River. On its opening in 1889, the bridge was made of rope and wooden planks; nowadays it consists of wire and cables - which is perhaps just as well as it stands 230 feet (70 metres) above the water!

Top of Vancouver Restaurant

Located 33 feet  (10 metres) below the observation deck of the Vancouver Lookout, the top of Vancouver Restaurant offers a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant revolves once every 60 minutes, ensuring you get chance to enjoy 360 degree views across the city as you dine.

Vancouver Lookout

The Vancouver Lookout gives you chance to ride to an observation deck 581 feet (177 metres) above the city where you can enjoy 360 degree views across Vancouver. Glass elevators take you from street-level to the observation deck in only 40 seconds.

Expert Opinion
"The vibrant city of Vancouver is, of all the places I have been privileged to visit, my favourite city in the world. Set in a huge natural harbour, with its backdrop of mountains, it is simply spectacular."- Beverley Goring - Canada Tour Manager

Holiday ideas for Vancouver

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The Canadian
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Canada & the Rocky Mountaineer train tour
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Highlights of Canada in Winter
Booking Offer
3.7 stars(10 reviews)
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